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[Column] EverQuest Next: Can Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Sony Online Entertainment is very proud of the fact that a "new level of player-developer interaction" has been introduced as EverQuest Next is in development. But can a little interaction produce more than too much? We have a few thoughts to share on the issue. See what we think before heading to the comments.

During both E3 2013 and the recent SOE Live in Las Vegas gave the EverQuest Next development team a chance to talk about the new interaction with players. The team, it was said, is keen to know what players think on a host of issues that have a direct impact on the way that EQN will be played. To whit, a series of polls has cropped up on the official site to allow players a voice in the game's direction.

But the old adage, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" seems to contain a warning for the EverQuest Next team....or does it? 

Read more of Suzie Ford's EverQuest Next: Can Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth?

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,405Member Uncommon
    I wouldn't mind if players got to vote on the decision making, so long as they all agree with me.
  • solochoowookiesolochoowookie Redmond, WAPosts: 35Member
    It will be interesting to see if they make any changes. So far the class (or every class for everyone) system has been met with a healthy skepticism. Most think the current structure will result in a DPSFest, with little room for support class players. The dynamic world will be interesting to see, but if the game mechanics don't encourage groups, interaction and fun it will end up in the ditch. 
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,612Member Uncommon

    From the poll results I have seen here and in many other game discussion sites, I don't really want majority decisions determining how this game gets developed. The developers should use their own vision and stick to it.

     

    But never fear, this is probably just another SOE-sized publicity stunt.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,908Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by solochoowookie
    It will be interesting to see if they make any changes. So far the class (or every class for everyone) system has been met with a healthy skepticism. Most think the current structure will result in a DPSFest, with little room for support class players. The dynamic world will be interesting to see, but if the game mechanics don't encourage groups, interaction and fun it will end up in the ditch. 

    If there's anything we've learned as a species, it's never trust the masses to offer proper guidance. There's a smart way to handle player feedback and a stupid way. They're not going to go in gut every bit of work on their combat system when no one has seen it truly in action. That would be well...stupid.

    People take one game's system and put it out there as the only way to do something, the only end result that's possible. Yeah that's what it will become if people don't even take the time to see what combat is all about, if they can't fathom something "different" take it in and adapt to it, there's no hope for innovation any where in MMO combat.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • Sunnyguy46Sunnyguy46 Santa Rosa, CAPosts: 89Member Uncommon

    Speaking ONLY for myself but...EQN has kind of fallen off the radar after I've begun playing Final Fantasy XIV. I just can't get the GW2 dynamic event, boring combat gameplay out of my head.

     

    I hope the polls will help guide them in a direction players really want to go and not just a ruse to pretend like players have a say.

  • AntariousAntarious Greenville, SCPosts: 2,802Member

    Round table isn't really doing much of anything.   They toss out a question which seems either relatively pointless, vague or an obvious answer (aka a question about something that should obviously be an option so that the player can choose for them self.)

     

    All of it is simply done so that people can state opinions and argue with each other.   There is no real indication that any of it affects development (decisions might have already been made).   So that on a random day they can announce "blah blah blah" and the people that supported that idea will think they were "heard" and everyone else will not...   While the reality is likely that it was already decided and no one was really heard.. they just happened to land on the right ( ? ) side of the decision.

     

    So the title of the column seems pretty non relevant...   unless it was simply pointed at large company politics or some such...

     

    Round table to me is point blank a distraction so that you won't think about how little information is really out there... how most of Gamescon was a repeat of SOE Live (for information etc) and the fact that Landmark is supposed to launch before the end of the year and here we are at almost Sept and there is no large scale heavy load testing on landmark and all its new features/tools....

     

    Sept - Possible release date before Xmas is not a lot of time to have 10's of thousands of people breaking your stuff and giving you a chance to fix it and if Landmark launches ugly it will not give EQN good PR... so that's my opinion it (round table) is just a distraction.

    Moderator's on this site allow certain posters to create endless troll threads. Yet "warn" people for giving recommendations... account *pending* deletion because.. why bother.

  • grimfallgrimfall Missouri City, TXPosts: 1,155Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by solochoowookie
    It will be interesting to see if they make any changes. So far the class (or every class for everyone) system has been met with a healthy skepticism. Most think the current structure will result in a DPSFest, with little room for support class players. The dynamic world will be interesting to see, but if the game mechanics don't encourage groups, interaction and fun it will end up in the ditch. 

    If there's anything we've learned as a species, it's never trust the masses to offer proper guidance. There's a smart way to handle player feedback and a stupid way. They're not going to go in gut every bit of work on their combat system when no one has seen it truly in action. That would be well...stupid.

    People take one game's system and put it out there as the only way to do something, the only end result that's possible. Yeah that's what it will become if people don't even take the time to see what combat is all about, if they can't fathom something "different" take it in and adapt to it, there's no hope for innovation any where in MMO combat.

    Well, we actually haven't learned that... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds .

    There's pretty ample evidence to support Solo's assertion that the game will end up in a ditch without player interdependence on each other.

    It's OK to innovate, but we haven't seen really any innovation here.  The system it most closely resembles is a failed one.

    Back on topic, though, I think that these topics are used for more input on what the designers are actually struggling with, and that can be a good thing.  If everyone (7 people) is convinced leaving Ratonga out is a slam dunk, and then 10000 people tell you they want to play Ratonga..., well, make some rats.

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member

    SOE needs to be careful with how they respond to these polls. For one, pollsters are not the player base. Secondly, the developer needs to stay true with the original intent of the game. For example, if your goal is provide a massively huge world, you don't add a bunch of quick travel options everywhere just because of a poll; because now the world is not so big.

    They need to stay true to their original vision and just use the polls to help them avoid implementing anything that might become a game breaker for a large portion of the demographics.

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member
    Originally posted by grimfall
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by solochoowookie
    It will be interesting to see if they make any changes. So far the class (or every class for everyone) system has been met with a healthy skepticism. Most think the current structure will result in a DPSFest, with little room for support class players. The dynamic world will be interesting to see, but if the game mechanics don't encourage groups, interaction and fun it will end up in the ditch. 

    If there's anything we've learned as a species, it's never trust the masses to offer proper guidance. There's a smart way to handle player feedback and a stupid way. They're not going to go in gut every bit of work on their combat system when no one has seen it truly in action. That would be well...stupid.

    People take one game's system and put it out there as the only way to do something, the only end result that's possible. Yeah that's what it will become if people don't even take the time to see what combat is all about, if they can't fathom something "different" take it in and adapt to it, there's no hope for innovation any where in MMO combat.

    Well, we actually haven't learned that... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds .

    There's pretty ample evidence to support Solo's assertion that the game will end up in a ditch without player interdependence on each other.

    It's OK to innovate, but we haven't seen really any innovation here.  The system it most closely resembles is a failed one.

    Back on topic, though, I think that these topics are used for more input on what the designers are actually struggling with, and that can be a good thing.  If everyone (7 people) is convinced leaving Ratonga out is a slam dunk, and then 10000 people tell you they want to play Ratonga..., well, make some rats.

    Regarding the Ratonga argument: these polls can be misleading as those 10,000 players that would play a Ratonga might still completely enjoy the game playing a different race without a Ratonga option being available. One the other had, those against Ratonga would be somewhat annoyed in the game every time they see one. So, these polls need to realize how the results could be taken out of context.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    The danger in polls I worry about is not which option wins, but how strongly the losing side (as in, whichever path the devs don't take, whether it was the minority or majority result) becomes emotionally invested in the idea that the game *could* have gone down that path but didn't.
  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon

    Player polling can be useful if used correctly. Having a self-selecting internet poll is not the best way to design a game. However, once a game is launched, including a simple poll within the launcher so that you're polling actual people playing the game (and not just whiners on the forums) is a useful approach.

    Too many companies get this wrong.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,908Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by grimfall
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by solochoowookie
    It will be interesting to see if they make any changes. So far the class (or every class for everyone) system has been met with a healthy skepticism. Most think the current structure will result in a DPSFest, with little room for support class players. The dynamic world will be interesting to see, but if the game mechanics don't encourage groups, interaction and fun it will end up in the ditch. 

    If there's anything we've learned as a species, it's never trust the masses to offer proper guidance. There's a smart way to handle player feedback and a stupid way. They're not going to go in gut every bit of work on their combat system when no one has seen it truly in action. That would be well...stupid.

    People take one game's system and put it out there as the only way to do something, the only end result that's possible. Yeah that's what it will become if people don't even take the time to see what combat is all about, if they can't fathom something "different" take it in and adapt to it, there's no hope for innovation any where in MMO combat.

    Well, we actually haven't learned that... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds .

    There's pretty ample evidence to support Solo's assertion that the game will end up in a ditch without player interdependence on each other.

    It's OK to innovate, but we haven't seen really any innovation here.  The system it most closely resembles is a failed one.

    Back on topic, though, I think that these topics are used for more input on what the designers are actually struggling with, and that can be a good thing.  If everyone (7 people) is convinced leaving Ratonga out is a slam dunk, and then 10000 people tell you they want to play Ratonga..., well, make some rats.

    We're talking games here not building nations. Who said there won't be player dependency? That's exactly what I'm talking about above. That's nothing but an assertion based on nothing but GW2, which has what to do with EQN? The answer to that question is we do not know, we only assume.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member

    "What do you think of the EverQuest Next idea of round table discussions? Good idea? Not so hot?"

     

    I think it's good that they are at least making it appear to be listening to the players (their customers).  So yes, good idea for that alone.

     

    I would like to believe that the Dev's have more than a general idea of what they are going to do with the game.  For instance, the newest poll is on contested content.  Let's say they've already made up their minds that there will be a mix, but they just want to see what the vocal community thinks.  If the poll results were unexpectedly to the majority of "Everything should be contested", then they might adjust their plans.  They may not make everything contested, but they may make more than they planned from the outset.  I think there is a banding of responses, and if the poll goes outside of that then they take a harder look at their original outlook. 

     

    I do not believe they are blindly acting on the poll results.  I think they are using the discussions and numbers as something to consider, while mostly maintaining a plan.  As I said in the beginning of my post, listening to your customers is always a good thing.  You don't always have to do what they think is best, but putting on the appearance of a 2-way line of communication can do wonders for community spirit.

    image
  • GregorridavionGregorridavion lawrenceville, GAPosts: 3Member

    Well seeing as how one of the leads on the team was very passionate about NOT having a guild fall apart due to 1 player being the main tank and deciding they dont want to tank anymore tells you all you need to know about how they feel concerning the 'dependancy' issue.  In fact based on his dwonright confrontational ' I dare you to argue this point with me" attitude during the class panel, I would say that most comments regaurding player inter-dependancy is not only conjecture but pretty darn close to fact.

    It unfortunate that companies seem to think that all players only want to DPS things.  If you look at the example they are trying to use (LoL: League of Legends) as what they are attempting to acomplish, even there there is the trinity.  If you have no 'Tank' (initiator) than your Support (heals) and squishy Carries (DPS) get eaten. 

    Also look at what happened to the gaming community in general when a game is made that does not give solid reasons for creating strong bonds and reward teamwork. You get WoW. You get a game that gets soo dumbed down as to be unbearable to all who have an attention span greater than a gnat.

    I applaud the courage for trying new things, but they should take a note from the one game that is still going strong after 14+ years, and see why that game still has the player base it has. Considering which game that is, I am truely shocked that they can ignore the data that is staring them right in the face.

  • Bonez005Bonez005 Lafayette, COPosts: 36Member

    I think they should make the game and release it... the players who think it looks fun will play it and the players who don't think it looks fun won't play it. It really is a simple concept that has been in practice for decades and proved successful. The reason why we have this massive group of players on the internet who feel entitled to change what other people like is because too many companies are trying to get a risk free product. They are essentially tricking consumers into working for them free of charge and the sad part is.. it backfires and their game fails.

     

    To the people who think that a company is "great" for listening to "the people": Your blind... That is when games fail as we've seen in the past. EQ1... Verant didn't care what players were crying about and its legendary. EQ2... went through so many core changes by listening to the "Forum player-base" which was a tiny fraction of the actual base and by the time they actually had a decent core going for it WoW already snatched everybody up because they had a vision and stuck to it at the core so EQ2 just struggled its way from merge to merge then Free to play. I know someone is going to say "Uhh wow changed soo much" <-- this person has never heard of SOE. (We are proud to take advice from all of our players) (and even other players who arent our players!)

    All in all, if you want to play a game that you like, go find one... EQ:N looks pretty awesome right now but I'm certain that by the time its released its just going to be a colorful mess of bleh until people start crying about it being too colorful, then it will be in black and white until people start crying about not utilizing their color monitors... then fail. Good luck though and enjoy!

  • JasonJJasonJ New Port Richey, FLPosts: 395Member

    How about we end the near decade long stranglehold on the genre created by coping WoW? You know, the game that broke the stranglehold on the genre that was being held by developers like Raph Koster that felt he and only he knew what gamers like and we, the players, were too dumb to know what we wanted?

    To be a success in the MMO field an MMO should supply a LARGE VARIETY OF GAMEPLAY and not just "some". Just look at Archeage, its just a SAMPLE of what is going to be coming out of Korea over the next few years...current western MMOS are so damn limited, all you have to do is look at some of them...TESO, based on DAOC using a massive IP name of a series of games with a massive world that grows WITH the character...and what are they doing? Creating content that will NOT grow with the player leaving everyone with only the CENTER of the game world to play in at end game, with a shadowed instance of opposing player lands to adventure in, until you finished that...then its back to the center.

    Boring, same old outdated content design limitations that are over a decade old.

    Sony is doing the SMART thing, but then again, they are not a western company.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Some kind of voting system needs implemented. There needs to be a way to let those with true talent shine. I will dabble with Landmark but I know what I will be able to create wont even come close to what the hidden gems scattered throughout the world will be able to create and I think there needs to be a way to get thos with real talent noticed
  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Some kind of voting system needs implemented. There needs to be a way to let those with true talent shine. I will dabble with Landmark but I know what I will be able to create wont even come close to what the hidden gems scattered throughout the world will be able to create and I think there needs to be a way to get thos with real talent noticed

    That isn't really what this article is about. The above article raises the question of whether allowing a gaming community to vote on features is a good or bad thing.

    What you're talking about relates to Landmark, and how that content is introduced into EQN. In that system, devs will have a say as well as players.

  • Dexter2010Dexter2010 Beverly Hills, CAPosts: 244Member Common

    Those polls shown as examples seem to not matter anyway; Dwarven women with beards seem trivial; -> make beards and add a no beard option. Rotunga in game or not? Isn't it just another character skin? Aren't they already in game? People complained they look like Simba/Mufasa. A sequel devoid of its notoriety is soulless and deprived of integrity.

    If this is a psychological ploy to deceive players about choice and input/collective participation, it's transparent and not very clever. When this endeavor plummets from grace, i expect SOE to convey something akin to 'You wet your bed, now sleep in it' or 'It's your fault my game sucks'.

  • ThorqemadaThorqemada BerlinPosts: 1,277Member Uncommon

    To many Cooks spoil the broth but "Eat or Die" (sink or swim) makes bad Cooks.

    People will vote with their vallet anyway and that is the only honest poll you will ever receive.

    "Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

    MWO Music Video - What does the Mech say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF6HYNqCDLI
    Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0x2iwK0BKM

  • IncomparableIncomparable KuwaitPosts: 872Member
    Are the devs going to follow every poll regardless of how other aspects conflict with other mechanics in their game?

    If anything, its useful feedback to help create an overall picture of what others like.

    So i am sure the polls are useful, but not to the point that tyey will defintely shape tye decision.

    Since the voting in the poll happens to be clevery distributed. For example there is one option saying yes, another saying yes but if, another saying maybe and the last one saying not sure. The only one that will force a decision is the yes, but most polls have compromised voting which means it leaves it to the devs with the other 3 non yes categories becoming a majority against the yes.

    “Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  • RinnaRinna Las Vegas, NVPosts: 388Member
    Players don't even know what they want. They think they want a simplified ride straight to end game raiding and then they get there and are dissatisfied with how quickly they burned through content and how nothing was challenging. I think the best MMOs are the ones where the devs stick to THEIR vision, then invite you into their raw passion driven world. EQ Next is either going to be the new behemoth or its going to absolutely erase any smidge of respect SOE still carries from gamers and be the biggest debacle in history. I live in Vegas- I wouldn't roll the dice and let flaky, multifaceted, gamer opinions decide my fate on this title- no effing way.

    No bitchers.

  • LaserwolfLaserwolf Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 2,383Member
    Did players really want UO's Trammel and SWG's CU/NGE or did developers just think players wanted them?

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  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon
    Much ado... I think they are looking at these polls, but I don't believe for a second that they are baseing their decision on them. I expect they'll use them as a excuse if it all goes to crap though! There will then be much pointing of fingers and whringing of hands saying, but.. but.. we gave you what you told us you wanted!
  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member

    Jesus, I've agreed with the EQ community up until this point. Contested content yea or nay? Is that their clever way of saying, how much stuff should be instanced? You can have public areas that aren't fought over constantly, just use good game design.

    If there is any instancing in this game I will lose faith with the devs.

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